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High school winter sports cancelled

Posted Jan 16 2013 1:51am

It’s a confirmation of what many high school athletes were dreading: no winter sports this year, school board officials say.

The official decision will be made by Monday but it’s unlikely anything will change between today and then, said Laura Elliott, a superintendent of education with the Thames Valley District school board.

Elliott is in charge of program services, which includes sports and clubs.

In early December, high school teachers across the province announced they wouldn’t be doing extra-curricular activities – coaching sports, leading teams, conducting band – as part of a protest against the government’s Bill 115.

With only the slim possibility that a new premier, to be elected at a Liberal leadership convention Jan. 26, will bringing sweeping changes, winter sports have been canceled and spring sports are also in jeopardy.

Winter sports are boys and girls hockey, boys basketball, girls volleyball, wrestling and swimming.

Spring sports are rugby, soccer and track and field.

The union representing high school teachers has said it would revisit its “next steps” after the leadership convention.

The Thames Valley District school board said that although it asked for volunteers to coach and sports, there was “no uptake” from the community.

“It’s a huge time commitment, with lots of practices plus the team play. There’s a lot of expertise involved,” Elliott said.

One of the coaches also has to be a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers – a retired teacher, or principal, for example – so that whittled down the pool of potential volunteers significantly.

“Right now, we have no sports at all.”

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